Before You Buy A Philips SHP9500, READ THIS!!

Part of the “Before You Buy” Series


1,244-word post, approx. 3 min. read


  • 12/21/20. Article posted.
  • 12/26/20. Added video.

For those interested in the updated 9600: Philips SHP9500 vs. 9600 | THIS is an upgrade?!

Much praise has been heaped upon the SHP9500 in recent years. But is it warranted? Is the headphone even worth purchasing in today’s congested audio climate?

Let’s dive in and find out…

Greetings comrade, Stuart Charles here, helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music, all over again so… don’t want to read?!

Video Discussion/Review

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The 9500

To answer your question, absolutely you should purchase one without thinking twice if you’re a fan of pure sound. I’ll extrapolate on that more in a sec.

Do stick around ‘til the end of this article though as I’ll be going over one downside to owning a 9500, as well as the question of amplification if you’re brand-spankin’ new.

So, what exactly warrants a snap purchase of this headphone?

Let’s go over my Top 5 reasons to consider getting one right away.


It’s great for mixing and reference

Philips SHP9500 vs. 9600

This is a headphone that is going to help you easily find flaws in a mix and correct them. I’ll elaborate on why in a bit. Not much more needs to be said. Just make sure not to overcompensate on the bass.


Comfort & Build

I’ve lumped these 2 in together because I felt like it. Both are incredible for the price, as you’ll be able to wear the 9500 for long periods of time without much adjustment. They do sit a bit loosely on your head, but I pretty much forget they’re on and that’s certainly a huge asset when you’re listening to music, let alone gaming, watching a film, or mixing for extended periods of time.

Build wise, they’re mostly plastic, but it’s a hard, rugged plastic and the headband is made of metal. I enjoy the slight rotation each side provides, and I haven’t had one single issue with these since I bought them in 2017. They are definitely built for the long haul, which is again, amazing considering their meager price tag.


They’re incredibly neutral and revealing

Philips SHP9500 vs. 9600

There are things I’ve heard in songs with these that I haven’t in any other headphones, and for that, they should be commended. Micro detail here is exemplary, rivaling that of headphones costing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Simply put, the 9500 is for the most part very balanced. I almost never feel like one part of the spectrum is overpowering the other. It’s about as good as it gets for an open back headphone, and I don’t say that lightly.


By and large, it sounds incredibly natural as well. 

Philips SHP9500 vs. 9600

I’ve talked at length with folks about the incredible bass response these provide, and it cannot be overstated. The rumble and articulation here is virtually unmatched at this price range and holds their own against some pretty stiff competition. If your goal is to actually hear every individual note being played, the 9500 is your homie. Just kick back and relax with it. Speaking of, check out my kick back and relax homie t-shirt design. Here’s a link to it: Kick Back & Relax Homie!


The mid-range is equally as impressive. Vocals stand out but aren’t too in your face, and the instruments sound lively and engaging. I never feel like the 9500 is trying too hard, and that’s something you’ll find incredibly valuable over the long term, especially as you start to hear more and more headphones and some of the pitfalls that accompany them.


Price to Performance.

The Best Mics For Gaming
Easily attach a Boom Pro to the 9500.

What you’re getting for the money is truly astounding here. Soundstage and Imaging are also pretty incredible for a headphone under $100.

Not only is the 9500 great for most genres of music, but it also does incredibly well for Gaming and Film. The fact that a roughly $70 product can provide such an alarming “out of your head” feeling is simply remarkable, and should not go unnoticed.

But wait! There’s more!

Replace the stock cable with a Boom Pro and you’ve got a super cheap and highly effective FPS set up.

Just use something like a Creative SoundBlasterX G6 and you’ve got everything you could ever want or need in gaming.

Related: The Best Gaming Setup For Beginners [Gaming Setup Ideas!]

With this headphone, I can pinpoint footsteps and sounds with ease. I’m frequently ripping the headphones off thinking what I just heard came from the outside, and that’s certainly an incredible asset when your goal is to be hyper-focused on your surroundings.

I’ve even gotten up from my couch to answer a knock at the door, only to find out it came from the game. This happens very frequently and will leave you almost speechless at times.

In film, more of the same applies. You’ll start to hear subtleties in movies you never thought were there. Stuff going on way in the back, or way to the right, or even below you! I live on the second floor and could swear I heard a ruckus down below me and to the left on the gravel outside.

Could you describe the ruckus, sir?

So we’ve now discussed some of the main strengths of the 9500. What about its one glaring weakness?

You want another one?


As good of a headphone as it is soundwise, there is a bit of peakiness in the high mid-range/low treble area that can sound a bit too essy at times. Now I don’t personally believe it’s as bad as some people make it out to be (cough DMS cough!), and it’s certainly not grainy sounding as it’s been accused of being. It’s just simply a bit too bright at times. Too hot. This is a small price to pay for everything else it has going for it though, and I wouldn’t let it steer you away from owning one. There’s a 98.82048150% chance you’re going to love it.


Will you need an amp? Simply put, no. It’s got a very low impedance which means it doesn’t resist power much, and a very high sensitivity, meaning it’s super-efficient at using the power it receives. If you’d like to purchase something to start, I would recommend an E10K or K3.

The Best Headphone Amp for the AKG K701 & K702
2 peas in a pod.

Ready to purchase a 9500?


Ready for the next article in the series?


Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this discussion/review on The Philips SHP9500 and now know just how amazing it is!

Would you purchase a 9500? I would love to hear your thoughts. Until next time…

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All the best and God bless,





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Be sure to also check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

Philips SHP9500






Sound Quality





  • Amazing sound
  • Incredible Build
  • Fantastic Comfort
  • Great For Gaming & Film
  • Superb Soundstage


  • High Mid-Range/Treble bite

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